Edmund Prestwich




Aqua Alta

It started as often before:
water, creeping through doors,
pushed in by wind and tide,
flooded the lower floors.
Venetians, grimly stoic,
waded to work as dawn
broke cold and yellow; waded
through ruined books, shoes
and baby clothes, or queued
in bakeries and bars
while water rose to their knees.
Four Russians in trunks and bikinis
grinned mockingly for the cameras
round a table by St Mark’s,
till, as the water rose
their bodies disappeared –
left jerking heads, cold hands
clinging to the table
and frozen manic grins.
Their legs kicked in frenzy,
pale blurs in the green murk,
while silently all round
the sea hordes muscled in,
bream and bass and squid,
red mullet, flickering eel,
gamberetti, spider crabs,
and mercury-poisoned razor clams
borne in on the drifting sand.



Edmund Prestwich lives in Manchester. He has published two collections, Through the Window and Their Mountain Mother. You can link to his website and blog at http://edmundprestwich.co.uk/ and his Amazon page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edmund-Prestwich/e/B001K82TR8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1542291415&sr=1-2-ent

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